Tuesday, 14 April 2009

You could get a bus through there.......

Over the holiday weekend I managed to jettison the tagalong bike (yes, I was holed up in Stalag Luft Center Parcs but I made a glider from some toilet roll tubes,a bit of paper tablecloth and some packing tape and flew over the perimeter wire late Friday evening) and get some quality time across the road in the forest proper. I rode my Explosif fully rigid, and even found some new (to me) singletrack that began almost opposite the Stalag and ran parallel with the Brandon road to eventually hook up with the treeless section of the Black Run. So I could wing it from the prison/holiday camp all the way to the end of the 'Beast of the East' in one long and swoopy piece. Nice. Best bits really. But then I returned to the camp using the rest of the Black Run which loops around to my stop. I was disappointed to say the least. What the hell has happened up there? Sections that used to joyous curves of narrow berm bank action are now four metre wide mudfests with no speed, no flow and certainly no joy. The trails have been ridden all winter by folk who don't want to get their white Reeboks sullied by mud. They choose to take an alternative line and now what used to be an alley is now a motorway. Even the diversions are not much fun. The place could use the John Banks Enduro again for a few years to make some fresh and exciting trails. And then they need to be ridden by people who understand that squaring off a corner is not faster and all that occurs is the loss of a perfectly good berm/bend. Thankfully, the Beast remains great fun-even on a rigid steed. Certain parts of the forest seem to shake off the wet and these are still fun. The section after the first bombhole contains some of the best corners I have ridden anywhere. That's bold, but I believe it. Still, Thetford could use some TLC before it goes to ruin. It isn't the all weather venue some seem to think it is.

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